According to social media posts and real estate records, the site of the historic Hermitage Cafe has been sold, and the late-night diner will be forced to close sometime in October. Representatives from the restaurant say an official statement will be released next week.
The diner, which served the Nashville community for decades, seems to be losing its space in the Rutledge Hill neighborhood just south of Broadway where it served all day (well, night) breakfast favorites, from soul-warming biscuits and sausage gravy and pancakes to patty melts and grilled cheese sandwiches to everyone from cops and firemen to drunk socialites and songwriters that everyone respected by leaving alone, in the proper (old) Nashville way. It’s also a tried and true spot to nurse the hangover the morning after, too.
Shields Taylor first opened the diner, located a little on the outskirts of downtown at the corner of Hermitage Avenue and Middleton Street. When Taylor died he left it to his widow Pat Taylor. Pat’s daughter Sherri (Taylor) Callahan ensured that the cafe remained open after Pat’s death in 2014 — a legacy to her mother who ran the diner solo for years.
In 2015, the diner got a little interior facelift courtesy of the Food Network, which was filming for the show American Diner Revival. It still feels exactly the same — open all night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. serving comforting breakfast essentials alongside patty melts, chopped steak, fried chicken, and fried bologna sandwiches.
This loss, if and when it happens, is devastating for the already limping Nashville restaurant industry — another institution lost to something shiny and new. Another longtime neighborhood diner, Athens Family Restaurant, lost its home in Melrose earlier this year, but quickly found a new location near Belmont.
On Hermitage Cafe’s Facebook page, owners asked for patience and for loyal patrons to come to visit — and say an official statement will be released next week, but word is the cafe’s final day will be sometime in October. Eater Nashville will share more on this story as more information becomes available.